Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Black & White Stripes

Its no secret I love black and white and every imaginable shade of grey.  But I love black and white the most when they're used together in a graphic pattern such as a geometric or stripe. For years, Its something I've been working into most of the spaces I design and its shown no limits to how versatile it can be.   A graphic black and white pattern is the perfect way to add a modern hit of interest to a neutral coloured space, or a space that doesn't have a lot of prints/pattern (although it plays nice with other patterns too).  When I use a bold colour in a room, my favorite approach is to offset that bold colour with black and white, it think it keeps colourful schemes looking fresh and current and to my eye prevents them from looking too heavy.  And...if I'm ever forced to work with a colour that's not so desireable (say, peach, or sea foam or hunter green for example!) I'll add black and white to the space, if I want a modern edge, I'll do it in a graphic pattern.   In a traditional space a stylized black and white botanical print or herringbone check adds a fresh twitst and for a classic preppy look a banded stripe of black or white is timeless.  Without a doubt the black and white stripes found in nature are my favorite - no matter what style the room, a zebra pattern always add a bit of edge, i could easily use this pattern in every space I design and never tire of it.  I just picked up this zebra print carpet for a clients dressing room.

A look thru a few batches of photos uploaded recently from my Iphone indicate I've been on a black and white buying spree lately.  while I think its a perfect combo any time of the year there's something about spring that perfectly suits the crisp high contrast of geometric black & white.

This black and white stripe, cropped sweater jacket was irresistable (styled like a blazer but fits more like a sweater).  I scooped this up at Joe Fresh a few weeks ago and know it'll be a staple this spring and summer! (Btw, Joe Fresh will soon be opening its first international location this spring in NYC).

The Parker flush mount fixture by Jonathan Adler for Robert Abbey.  I first specified this fixture 3 years ago and i've used it many times since. Its available in several finishes but my favotire is the bronze which really shows off the grid work, I just ordered a few more....

Some preliminary scouting for a project I'll be working on in Naples Florida later this year.  I'm loving the idea of pairing this chair with bold yellow accents and colourful modern artwork. Chair from Elte.

If you havn't been to Ikea recently, you better hurry if you're in the market for outdoor furniture or accessories.  Their 2011 summer collection has just landed in the stores and stuff is selling fast.  I'm crazy for these black and white striped outdoor pillows and scooped up a pair for only $20 ea, including insert.

Speaking of pillows, I had some of this fabric left over from a project from last year and I just pulled it out to have some more pillows made, I'm just as crazy for this now as I was when I first saw it.  I've always been a fan of chevron but its the oversize scale of this one that I really love!

Since spring hasn't even arrived yet, I'm sure this won't be the end of my black and white buying spree. If you're looking for a way to add a fresh new update to your indoor or outdoor living spaces for the new season - try a hit of graphic black and white, and I promise you'll be a fan too.

All Photos:  Carol Reed


  1. no wonder I love you. I love black and white too.

  2. I was just looking at those flush mounts. I love the grid as well. Where do you usually use this fixture?

    Do you have a favourite floor lamp from Robert Abbey too?

  3. Yep, count me in as a b/w fan too.
    Endlessly attention~grabbing and well, just, elegant.

  4. Hi Trio,
    I've used that flush mount in a variety of spaces. If you look at the photo on the side bar of this blog "E-Design website" I used this fixture in the family room you see beyond the kitchen but in that room I actually retrofitted it to a semi-flush by adding a 6" stem because I wanteded something with a bit of a drop but loved the graphic detail this one had. Aside from this room I've used it in a small condo kitchen (to replace an unattractive builders fixture) in the centre of the ceiling, that was open concept to LR and DR,,,,Ive used it in a Laundry room, hallways, and I'm currently using it in the vestibule of a 70's bungalow redesign.

  5. Thanks for responding. I love how you added the stem to make it drop down.

    I saw the striped chair at Elte today. It looked amazing.


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